Of all the friendly matches Gor Mahia has played during this off season, the match against El Merreikh offered the sternest test yet. This after all is a team that has a budget that makes the top Kenyan teams look village teams. A team known to pay their top players such as Steven Worgu up to $ 1million. A team that on the past two occasions has shredded Gor Mahia to ribbons. Most notably in 2007 when they beat an inexperienced schoolboy laden Kogalo team 5-0. So despite the fact that they were missing several of their players currently playing in the Africa nations cup, this was bound to be a serious test for Gor Mahia.
In the first half, Merreikh were clearly the better side. It came as no surprise therefore when Nigerian Kelechi Osunwa gave them the lead after 15 minutes. It would have been much worse had Jerim Onyango not been in fine form.
The second half saw Kogalo up their game. The introduction of Moses Odhiambo brought some pep to the Gor Mahia attack. He was sheer class as was Collins Okoth “Gattuso”. Camerounais Baldwin Ngwa seems to have picked up where he left off. He is still as hardworking as he was before except he seems to have added plenty of muscle. He will be a handful for defenders in the coming year. It was his clinical finish from a Moses Odhiambo cross that saved Kogalo from imminent defeat. His second goal in as many games.
Anticipating Kogalo fans however did not see some of the players they wanted to assess the most, notably Anthony Otieno who has recently been cleared by Mathare United and Felix Nwosu. Also missing was Hugo Nzoka who has yet to be released by SoNy. All in all it was a decent outing for Kogalo. However they still have plenty of work to do especially in the final third of the field.
This is the last friendly match Kogalo will play this off season. The next game is the Super Cup match against Tusker.